Are there plans to add Top and Bottom Meshes to Surface Templates?
Are there plans to add Alternate Surfaces to Surface Templates?
As users are setting up ORD for production. It would be beneficial to know if Bentley was planning on supporting the creation of Top/Bottom Meshes and Alternate Surfaces from Surface Templates. Currently, the only problem with Surface Templates is creating the base and subgrade surfaces. Only one method seems to work, selecting the linear features from a graphical filter.
I, like many users, model using a combination of corridors, linear templates, terrains and surface templates. But if Top/Bottom Meshes and Alternate Surfaces only work for corridors and linear templates, why use them? It is tough to model most roadway projects with just corridors alone. Surface Templates seem to fill in a lot of gaps where corridor modeling becomes difficult. I see a lot of confusion out there on how to create sub surfaces. It would be nice to know if using linear features with graphical filters is the way forward or are Top/Bottom Meshes and Alternate surfaces a future enhancement with surface templates.
I had used top meshes to create surfaces when SS3 first came out and the resultant surfaces were VERY large. I find a better way to create your surfaces is to use the graphical filter method. You can create filters for several conditions and group them together to create a filter group. These filters are best set up to select 3d linears that compose breaklines in a surface. An exterior type filter can also be added so your surface has a nice clean exterior.
We created generic UG features for our below grade features so that they can easily be excluded from surfaces. I agree that a surface from breaklines is the most efficient way to build a terrain from a design. If you use meshes (or triangles, as I've seen done) the surface is bloated and difficult to use for other usages.
Charles (Chuck) Rheault CADD Manager
MDOT State Highway Administration
I have had difficulties with establishing a tight boundary when selecting breaklines from a graphical filter. If I use linear features as breaklines, what do you recommend for the boundary? For example, I may wish to create a proposed pavement terrain, but I do not want to use a sliver or maximum triangle length to establish the boundary. When I use meshes, the boundary is crisp.